Reduction of adolescent alcohol use through family-school intervention: a randomized trial

John W Toumbourou, M E Douglas Gregg, Alison L Shortt, Delyse M Hutchinson, Tania M Slaviero

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Two-year longitudinal follow-up data evaluated the behavioral impact of Resilient Families, a universal intervention that aimed to prevent early initiation and frequent and heavy adolescent alcohol use in secondary schools in Melbourne, Australia. METHODS: Of 24 secondary schools (62 of those approached), 12 were randomly assigned to intervention and 12 as controls. Intervention students received a social relationship curriculum; their parents received parent education handbooks and invitations to parent education events outlining strategies to encourage healthy adolescent development and reduce adolescent alcohol misuse. At Wave 1 (2004), students were in Year 7 secondary school (mean age, 12.3 years). Data were imputed for students completing at least two of three annual surveys (N = 2,354). Wave 3 (2006; mean, 14.5 years) main outcome measures for alcohol use were any, frequent (at least monthly), and heavy (five or more drinks in a session at least once in the prior fortnight). Multivariate logistic regression assessed intervention exposure effects, adjusting for school classroom clustering and baseline measures. RESULTS: Relative to controls, intervention students showed significant reductions in any lifetime use (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], .78; 95 confidence interval [CI], .62-.97), and reduced progression to frequent (AOR, .69; CI, .56-.86) and heavy use (AOR, .75; CI, .60-.94). CONCLUSIONS: Randomized assignment to Resilient Families was associated with a significant reduction in adolescent alcohol use among families volunteering for the evaluation. Family-school-based interventions appear promising as a strategy to contribute to population reductions in currently high rates of adolescent alcohol misuse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778 - 784
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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